The Périgord (Peiregòrd or Périgòrd in the Occitan language, peirigord in perigordian dialect), is the name of the County which covered the current Dordogne department in the region Aquitaine-Poitou-Charentes.
The Dordogne department is essentially rural and has a wide cultural, archaeological and historical heritage.
CASTLES AND “BASTIDES”
There are in Périgord over 1,000 castles, manors, chartreuses and other forms of country houses and fortresses. The construction of these castles is stretched from the 11th century to the French revolution, allowing a juxtaposition of various architectural currents. Bastides created in the 13th and 14th centuries and located in the southwest of the Department and bear witness to the confrontation between the King of England and the Count of Toulouse (whose bastides were built in the Agen area). The major feature of the bastide is its geometric plan structured around the place du Marché (Monpazier).
The old natural sub regions of the Perigord and the four large baronies that partly resulted now find themselves under the modern names of green, white, black and purple Perigord.
To the North, the Périgord vert – green (around Nontron), whose colour is twinned with clear oak and chestnut forests that are there as well as grasslands. Geologically, it is the granite part of the Dordogne, which belongs to the Massif Central.
In the centre and Northwest Périgord blanc – white (around Riberac and Perigueux), whose name recalls the colour of the limestone soil of the region. The major grain fields gave him the nickname of attic of the Périgord.
To the Southeast, the Périgord noir – black (around Sarlat-la-Caneda), historically the oldest appellation of the four, black pointing to so-called green-oaks forests but that are very dark indeed.
To the Southwest, the Perigord pourpre – purple (around bergerac), this name is the most recent (1970). It is due to the expansion of tourism, purple recalling the colour of vine leaves in the fall. Once the Bergerac was part of the white Périgord…
VINEYARDS AND BLACK TRUFFLE
The vineyard of Bergerac is the second of Aquitaine by its size. Neighbour to Bordeaux from which it was initially a part, it is the result of an ancestral tradition producing excellent wines and covers nearly 13000 hectares of land. The complex topology of the Bergerac region offers an extreme diversity expressed by 13 Appellations of controlled Origin (AOC) including the essential Côtes de Bergerac, Pécharmant, Rosette, Saussignac, Monbazillac, Montravel…
each based on well-defined terroirs complying with specific producing processes. The main varieties that make up the vineyard are merlot, cabernet-sauvignon, cabernet-franc for the reds and sauvignon, semillon and muscadelle for whites.